Special Report: Jeff Goodwin’s Journey Through Silence Part 2

After 11 years of silence, a Houghton Lake Community Schools teacher and coach is getting his hearing back.

Unsure if this surgery would work, Jeff Goodwin took the leap to get N-7 cochlear implants in each ear.

In a special two part series, Ashley VanOchten and Photojournalist Catie Brettschneider were there to witness the moment Jeff Goodwin’s life as it was forever changed.

After successfully receiving an N-7 cochlear implant in his right ear last November, we followed Jeff and his family to the Providence Hospital in Novi where he received his second cochlear implant.

This surgery will almost completely restore Jeff’s hearing for the first time since he was 19 and we’re here to show you the incredible, life-changing moment that second implant is activated for the first time.

“This is the last resort like if this activation doesn’t go well theres nothing else I’m just deaf,” says Goodwin.

Those were Jeff’s thoughts as the cochlear implant was activated in November and the true test began.

“The audiologist said alright I’m going to start naming colors and if you can hear the color then let me know and she covered up her mouth and anytime she covers up her mouth I just panic like I need to see what you’re saying,” says Goodwin.

To Jeff’s surprise, it worked.

The implant in his right ear partially restored his hearing but there was still one more surgery to be done.

“I’m excited, I’m super nervous and I’m very happy,” says Goodwin.

Jeff was about to get a second implant that would hopefully almost completely restore his hearing.

“It’s a little overwhelming right now that  we’re here and this is it, it’s going to be done,” says Goodwin.

After a month of recovery it was time to see if that second implant would be everything he imagined.

As Jeff’s audiologist covered her mouth and said colors to test Jeff’s hearing, Jeff correctly repeated every color back to her.

But the greatest gift of all was hearing his son say “I love you”  in both ears for the very first time.

“It was exciting and I was happy,” says Isaiah Goodwin, Jeff’s son.

The Goodwin family cried happy tears to mark a pivotal moment in the their lives.

“It was very emotional and it still is to this day to have them be behind him and he’s not reading their lips and they can say something to him and he can just respond now and it is something that everybody takes for granted,” says Dawn Goodwin, Jeff’s wife.

“He is hearing at a normal level,” says Brandy Klann, Jeff’s audiologist. “I can already tell that he’s doing exceptional and that he will live the rest of his life hearing very well.”

Not only does Jeff finally get to experience the sound of laughter and play with his family, he also gets to hear his students and players at a whole new level.

“You cant really quantify that in living,” says Goodwin. “I feel like me again. You do change as a person when you start to isolate yourself, and I just don’t worry about things anymore.“

Jeff’s journey through silence ends with one final step.

“Improving quality of life thats next thats where we go from here,” says Goodwin.

Jeff’s hearing is now restored thanks to the N-7 cochlear implants.

The Goodwin family says they’re thankful for this life changing surgery that made Jeff himself again.